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Three Things: Swap Guhle? for Roy and blocked shots | Reinbacher makes a successful entrance
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

We’re back with a little “Three Things” column on some of the topics that got “a little” attention this week!


Guhle: when the exchange value looks greater than the use value
Unlike other young players in the organization, and
whatever Pierre McGuire may think, we can’t really say that Kaiden Guhle has progressed this season.

His only notable progress has been to stay healthy, as he himself wished before the start of the current campaign. He has taken slightly fewer risks, notably by engaging in less of the questionable hand-to-hand combat that caused him to lose last year.

Not a bad thing. A player is always more useful on the ice than in the infirmary.

We already suspected that his offensive talent was limited. He only shows flashes here and there, like earlier this week in Edmonton:

Although he has a very good skating stroke and a fairly good shot (which he doesn’t show often enough), the Albertan remains an uncreative back. His vision, patience and confidence with the puck are often lacking. There’s little nuance orelusiveness in his actions, and his hands aren’t the softest in town.

But there also seems to be a tendency to overrate him defensively.

Of course, at 22 years of age, he’s asked a lot of himself playing on the first pair on the right side. No one would argue with that.

But does he really shine in this challenge? While he makes some fine plays and sometimes has strong games, more often than not, he struggles to survive.

Often out of position in his zone, forgetting several forwards in the slot, getting caught at the offensive blue line…

This partly explains his -14 differential and his CORSI under 45%. No matter how much you value these stats, he can regularly be identified as one of the main culprits behind the pucks that end up behind his goalie.

But it’s true that Guhle doesn’t let his blunders get him down, and that’s a great strength.

He possesses a warrior’s aura and an overall attitude that are still worth a great deal to NHL managers.

An attitude and aura that inspire confidence, regardless of results on the ice.

He plays like the real thing, and we like that.

Neither Sanderson nor Sergachev
That said,
as my colleague/boss/”kind of friend(inside!) Max Truman wrote last Tuesday, sooner or later, we’ll have to cut through the defensive surplus to add more ammunition to the attack.

Before renegotiating a contract with Guhle, a possibility as early as next July, we’ll have to rigorously evaluate the option of trading him when he’s near the peak of his value (if his health holds up).

Remember when Jake Sanderson signed an 8-year, $64 million deal with the Senators last fall, and many were anticipating an almost similar contract for Guhle in the $7 million per season range?

Philippe Boucher was even talking about 50-point seasons

Let’s just say that the balloon has deflated quite a bit and that even my modest “4 years, $5 million per season” seems a bit heavy considering what we see of Guhle on the ice.

Hopefully, he’ll be able to regain some composure by the end of the season by putting him back on the left side, but we know he won’t turn into Bobby Orr, or Andrei Markov for that matter. Guhle’s dream at this stage is to become a “kind of (poor man’s) Ryan McDonagh”, a good third/fourth defenseman on a very good defensive brigade. Even if he hasn’t yet fully reached his peak, ” what you see is what you get “.

In short, Guhle doesn’t show enough offensively or defensively to be seen as indispensable in Montreal.

Among left-handers alone, when you look at the likes of Xhekaj, Struble, Hutson and Engstrom, you can imagine an overall impact similar to Guhle’s, if not greater.

If his exchange value becomes better than his use value, theoretically, from an administrative point of view, this would be the optimal situation to trade him for a top forward talent.

You have to give to get.

Guhle, as in the Romanov/Dach scenario in 2022, could be a nice coin in the hands of Hughes and Gorton.

The end of his season, along with those of Hutson, Reinbacher and Engstrom in Montreal and Laval, will shed even more light on the right choice to make…

Perhaps Hughes can get what he wants WITHOUT trading Guhle, using the Jets’ first pick and other pieces.

The possibility remains…

Enough goaltending!

In my beer league, as a forward or a defender (in homage to Mark Streit!), I don’t hate blocking shots at all. It’s a good feeling. It’s an important part of the defensive game. It makes you feel like you’re playing the proverbial “right way”.

And, apart from a few slightly more vigorous bullies, the throws are pretty weak. The risk of serious injury is virtually non-existent.

In the NHL, however, the reality is quite different, as Joshua Roy found out this week.

Of course, we salute the courage and self-sacrifice of my young fellow Beauceron. But for my part, I continue to question this ethic, this guideline that demands “block shots at all costs”, and that encourages skaters to play goalie.

In this sequence, Roy, far too far away from the shooter, literally “scrambles” to stop a slap shot from “BouchBomb” Evan Bouchard 4 feet in the air with the back of his player’s glove, as if he were a goalie blocker!

It just doesn’t make sense!

Even less so in the context of the Habs, 12 games away from a meaningless season finale.

Even less so if Roy himself had the chance to play in the playoffs in Laval!

Another harmless shot from the blue line (perhaps off target) that would have been easily blocked by the goalie, a teammate rightly equipped and paid to do the job!

A fine mess.

Here’s a simple rule, gentlemen: whenever possible, avoid blocking shots with your hands! #Gallagher #Savard #Chabot #Thompson #Etc.

A successful entry from Reinbacher

After a perhaps nervous first period punctuated by a couple of failed clearances, David Reinbacher settled in last night in Belleville, and it didn’t take long to recognize his sense of the game, his good positioning, his excellent defensive stick, his confidence with the puck, his fine zone exits and a good dose of toughness.

That said, we weren’t expecting a spectacular goal from him, but that’s what we got!

But it was his positioning in the middle zone and his alert stick that led to this sequence that will be remembered for a long time to come:

A very satisfying first goal in his first game for the young man, but also for the entire organization and its fans.

It felt like a big collective “yesssss”!

And it’s also a little nose-thumbing at the complete morons and other morons on social networks who allegedly influenced management to send him to Switzerland rather than Laval last fall.

Free tip: Just because we live in a democracy doesn’t mean we should give importance to everything we read on the Internet

If we go back to the game, we’ll also note that it was this same Reinbacher who started the sequence from his zone that eventually led to Logan Mailloux’s winning goal in overtime. Mailloux had been weak defensively on both Senators goals, but he finished in style with his famous wrist shot into the top corner, as well as adding an assist on his team’s first power-play goal.

Anyway, it was just the Austrian’s first game and we won’t draw any big conclusions from it, but let’s just say that it’s rarely a bad sign when it starts like that, with such aplomb.

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